Chicago attorneys Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman released files Wednesday on 16 priests accused of sexually abusing minors in the Diocese of Joliet.
The files, which include several thousand pages of documents, as well as summary sheets and timelines prepared by the lawyers, can be viewed and downloaded at shawurl.com/151k.
Included within the files are a 2005 deposition by former Bishop Joseph Imesch taken by plaintiff attorney Jeff Anderson.
Below are highlights from a few of the summaries:
Rev. Salvator “Sal” Vincent Formusa: Known to be sexually abusing young teenage girls in several parishes from 1962 to 1968. Given job as a therapist for Catholic Charities in 1976 by Bishop Romeo Blanchette, where he allegedly abused female patients over the next nine years. Died in 2006.
Rev. Leonardo Mateo: Reportedly abused children in Joliet, Chicago and the Philippines in the 1960s and ’70s. Lived in Joliet from 1977 to 1985. Admitted to molesting boys in swimming pools. Victims also say they were abused at the movies and in his room. “Bishop Imesch, Bishop [Roger] Kaffer and other church officials wrote letters and memos wondering about enraged parents who want to learn more about Mateo’s past. Imesch also openly wonders whether the abuse to Mateo’s victims is permanent.” Died in 2004.
Rev. Donald Pock: Complaints and allegations date back to the 1950s, when Pock was a seminarian. First big issues blossomed in 1975, after two victims come forward to Blanchette. Pock is put on sick leave, but remains working in parishes. In 1980, parishioners complain Pock is discussing pleasure of sexual intercourse with the congregation. By 1991, Pock’s drinking is out of control, but he is not removed from the priesthood until 2002. In 2002, Kaffer told one of the victims that there were no other allegations against Pock, with no mention of the prior sexual abuse complaints that were in Pock’s secret file. In 2003, Pock received a letter of congratulations from Imesch for 45 years of ministry. Died in 2004.
Rev. James Frederick: Allegations start soon after ordination in 1959. By 1967, at least three more boys say that the priest molested them. Frederick is placed on leave for less than a year. Instead of calling the police or demanding that Frederick remain in treatment, Blanchette, in 1968, promoted him to school superintendent and allowed him to continue living in parishes. He continued to abuse, going in and out of treatment for what is referred to “problems with alcohol.” Died in 1988.
Rev. John Slown: After Diocese of Joliet learns Slown molested five brothers, as well as seducing the boys’ mother, he is sent on a “spiritual retreat.” Over next 10 years, he exhibits erratic behavior, drinking openly and to excess, punching children and sexually abusing boys. He is placed on sick leave. Convicted of sexually abusing a boy in DuPage County in 1983, he is sent to the Diocese of Sante Fe to avoid prosecution. Current whereabouts unknown.
In a statement sent to media, the Diocese of Joliet asked that anyone who may have been sexually abused as a minor by a member of the clergy, employee or volunteer of the diocese to report the abuse to civil authorities and to the diocese. Reports may be made to any pastor or by contacting the diocese’s Director for the Office of Child and Youth Protection at 815)-221-6116.
"Dealing with the tragic history of child abuse is part of the Church’s ministry today," the statement reads. "The people of the Diocese of Joliet pray every day for those who have been abused and for those responsible for it. They ask the Lord for healing for all His people who suffer for what has happened in their midst. With God’s help, the diocese will continue to do its best to assure the safety of its children."